Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Spectacled Parrotlet Breeders, Loss of Species and Adding Another Parrotlet

Hello Sandee: I purchased my 2 beloved Spectacled Parrotlets (sisters) in Summer of 2000 from Rachel(?) of ‘Little Big Birds’ in Maryland. I have tried to locate her recently and have been unable to find her or ‘Little Big Birds’. I tried the Link you provide but, no luck. Is she no longer breeding Spectacles? Do you know of any other reputable breeders of Spectacles? I live in Vermont and not sure that my babies will live to 15-20 as they are beginning to show signs of old age but they’re still happily acting like Parrotlets – yacking away and always exploring. Thanks for any info you can provide on Rachel and/or other breeders of Spectacles. Best wishes Marcia Dear Marcia: Thank you for your message. Goodness, I think XXXXX got out of breeding parrotlets about 10 years ago. Very unfortunate as she was a wonderful lady who take excellent care of her birds. Even more unfortunate is the fact that there are almost no other species of parrotlets available in the US anymore other than color mutation Pacifics. I know of one person I can recommend that breeds Spectacles. Her name is XXXXXX and her email is XXXXXXXX. She is an excellent parrotlet breeder and I highly recommend her. Be sure and tell her you got her name from me. Best of luck! Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase ________________________________________ Hi Sandee; thanks so much for your response. I have emailed XXXX but am so sorry to hear XXXX is not breeding anymore. She was an excellent source of parrotlet information. I am also sorry to hear there are not more Spectacles in the US. I wonder why that is. Anyway, I am not sure I’m looking to get another parrotlet currently because Bunny is pretty possessive of me and would probably be annoyed if I split affections with another parrotlet although I wondered about supervised ‘socializing’ time for both of them – she would certainly like someone who was more adept at preening her than I and my friends are. Anyway, thank you so much for your care for parrotlets. Best wishes Marcia Dear Marcia: The loss of all the species of parrotlets in this country is very simple and something that I sadly predicted back in the mid-1990’s. The influence of color mutations and their high prices caused people to dump all of the other species to breed pretty colors. People wanted to buy the pretty colored birds. That, coupled with a very limited population, especially with birds like Spectacles (which only 20 pair came into the country) and the fact the Wild Bird Conservation Act which will not allow normal, non-mutated birds to be imported is why we have nothing but color mutation Pacifics available now. While there a handful of these birds around, they are all inbred and in another 10 years or so, they will all be gone from the US as well. Very sad. Also, I never recommend getting a parrotlet as a companion for your parrotlet. They are aggressive and territorial and will look at the new bird as a rival or competitor. So, probably best to leave Bunny as an only-parrotlets. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. Dear Sandee: Thanks for your tip on companionship for Bunny. To be honest, I just could not see her being okay with any interruption to her supreme rule of the household. I mulled over a friend because she is slowing down and I thought this would perk her up but, upon reflection probably not in a positive way. She has developed a periodic ‘fainting’ which is frightening when it happens. She appears as though dead (eyes closed, body limp). I hold her, and in minutes, she regains consciousness, starts chirping and attempting (eventually succeeding) to scramble out of my hand. I have taken her to various avian vets – she is not egg bound, no tumors are felt, has not lost weight (if anything she has gained weight), her droppings look good. This seems like a neurological thing…In any event, I think she is too small for anything invasive or traumatic so, I think I will just enjoy her for however long she can hang around. I am very sorry to hear Spectacles did not take off – I realize now how fortunate I was to meet up with Rachael in 2001. Are you aware of any Parrotlet clubs/groups/owners in the New England area? it is nice to have contact with others who have some idea of how wonderful they are. Very best wishes Marcia Dear Marcia: Glad to be of help and I think you have made a wise decision. I’m sorry to hear about Bunny’s problems and I agree that its probably neurological and, unfortunately, untreatable. However, that doesn’t mean she can’t continue to have a long and wonderful life with you. Actually, the only reason you have Bunny is because Spectacles ‘took off’. There were only 20 pairs of birds imported 21 years ago and people worked very hard, in cooperation with the International Parrotlet Society to breed enough of them to even allow any of them to be sold into the pet trade. Had Americans been more like Europeans and continued to work with normal, non-mutated species along with the color mutation Pacifics, we’d still have plenty of birds. But they didn’t, for reasons I previously explained. There are many bird clubs in the Northeast unlike out West. While none of them are ‘parrotlet specific’ that doesn’t mean they don’t’ have a lot to offer as far as education and keeping abreast of legislative and regulatory issues. They also fundraise to support veterinary and conservation issues and, many of them have annual bird shows. Here is the URL to the Society of Parrot Breeders and Exhibitors that has a list of all affiliated clubs as well as the URL to North American Parrot Society’s affiliated clubs Both organizations are also very educational and offer a lot to members including bimonthly journals and, of course, information on bird shows. These days those are about the only clubs that are still going strong. Hope this helps and best of luck! Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.

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